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Neurodevelopmental toxicity caused by environmental exposure to phtalates and bisphenol A (completed)

Consumer skepticism about phthalates and BPA is growing, leading many producers to use a logo like this on their products.

About the project

Humans are widely exposed to bisphenol A (BPA), an additive in the production of polycarbonate plastics, and phthalates, a class of chemicals applied as softeners in polyvinyl chloride and other plastics used in a variety of consumer products.

Both BPA and phthalates readily crosses the placenta, and phthalates may accumulate in the fetus. It was recently reported that phthalates may affect the neurodevelopment of the human brain.

The project is focused on the toxicity and other deleterious effects of the environmental chemicals/indoor air pollutants BPA and phthalates on fetal brain development.

We perform both in vivo and in vitro studies. Cell division rates, apoptosis rates, differentiation, and neuronal morphology are being addressed.


The primary objective of this project is to evaluate the toxic effects of bisphenol A and phthalates on the developing central nervous system.

The secondary objectives are to investigate the effects of these compounds on neuronal:

i) proliferation rates

ii) apoptosis rates

iii) Hox gene expression


The EU has recently (april 2008) updated the risk assessment report of BPA, and 50 mg/kg/day was suggested as NOAEL-value (no observed adverse effect level). The scandinavian Pollution Control Authorities was involved in the discussion of this revised risk assessment report, but did not approve that the NOAEL-value covered neurotoxic effects on the developing nervous system. In risk assessments published by The U.S. National Toxicology Program, Health Canada and Environment Canada (april 2008) some concern is expressed for the effects of BPA on the nervous system and behavior of fetus, babies and children.

The research project is in toxicology. It is a collaboration between the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo (UiO).

The Neurobiology group at the School of Pharmacy is also participating in a toxicological collaboration at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (the faculty emerging research initiative TOXICOLOGY).

Published Feb. 21, 2011 3:41 PM - Last modified Sep. 19, 2019 3:12 PM